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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

After her mother's death, woman finds solace in searching for her biological father

Sandra Rohrer's mom was killed by an ex-boyfriend before she could ask about her biological dad. The author spent 2020 searching for him— and succeeded.

ANKENY, Iowa — For 32 years, author Sandra Rohrer wanted to know who her biological father was. At 11-years-old, she found out the man whom she thought to be her father turned out not to be. 

Before Sandra could get any more information about her dad, her life turned upside down. Her mother was killed by an ex-boyfriend. 

"I asked my mother if she would draw a picture of what my biological father looked like. She was an amazing artist. And she, obviously, didn't have the opportunity because she was killed the next day," Sandra told Local 5's Lakyn McGee.  

"There was just this knowing that I was going to find him," Sandra said. 

And what better year than 2020 to step up the search? Sandra took to social media to start the search and documented every step. 

Sandra was successful in her journey to find her father. She finally met him this year.

"It was just better than I ever could have imagined and our conversations that we had. What's more miraculous than finding him is him fully embracing me as his daughter," Sandra said. 

As it turns out, Sandra's dad was nearly 17 hours away in New Jersey. She was able to find him with help from a DNA detective.

"A good portion of people that do these tests often are looking for close relatives. I remember Sandra's case, specifically, because it came together so quickly," said Eric Schubert, the DNA detective that worked on Sandra's case. 

Sandra's journey isn't over. The author just released a book titled "Known: A Daughter's Search for a Killer, Her Identity, and the Heart of God" that details her experience with her mom's death and her search for her dad. 

She isn't sure why her mom didn't tell her who her dad was.

"I would really like to have that conversation with her," Sandra said. 

While Sandra's dad had no idea she existed before she reached out, the pair are making up for the lost time. 

Sandra's book is available on Amazon right now. Click/tap this link to take a look